Gastroscopy and Colonoscopy
Gastroscopy (or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy) is a procedure to inspect the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach and duodenum (first part of the small bowel) using a thin, flexible tube with a camera. The procedure is performed under sedation, takes approximately 15 minutes and allows biopsies (tissue samples) to be taken and sent to a pathologist if required.
Colonoscopy is a procedure to inspect the inside of the colon (large bowel) using a thin, flexible, tube introduced via the rectum (back passage). It is performed under sedation and usually takes between 20 and 40 minutes. Biopsies (small tissue samples) can be taken and polyps (small growths) can be removed at the time if necessary. Colonoscopy is the best test to assess for bowel cancer or pre-cancerous polyps although no test is 100% accurate.